Nav: Home

A chemical-biological strategy for microRNA target identification

January 13, 2017

In a new study published in Journal of the American Chemical Society, Chen-Yu Zhang's group at Nanjing University reports photo-clickable miRNAs as probes for intracellular target identification of miRNAs.

MiRNAs are a class of naturally occurring small non-coding RNAs that have been linked to biological possesses and diseases development. However, identification of target genes associated with miRNAs, which is the basic way to understand miRNA-involved cellular processes, is still a major challenge in miRNA chemical-biology due to the lack of functional miRNA bearing appropriate tags. In the present study, in order to overcome the limitation that 3'-biotinylation on miRNAs could cause loss of miRNA function, Chen-Yu Zhang and colleagues pre-tag miRNAs at the 3'-end with bio-orthogonal group that can undergo photo-click reaction. The photo-clickable miRNAs are able to form functional complexes with target genes upon delivery into cells and target genes associated with the photo-clickable miRNAs could be tagged with molecular handle through photo-click reaction for pull-down and identification.

This work is important for the following reasons:
  1. This is the first time to demonstrate using biocompatible photo-click reaction to develop photo-clickable miRNAs for intracellular target identification. Current strategies for miRNA target identification mainly rely on bioinformatic methods, experimental methods to identify intracellular targets of miRNAs are in high demand. This is the first chemical-biology strategy for miRNA target identification.
  2. The use of photo-clickable miRNAs may reveal more miRNA-involved cellular regulation pathways and more possible miRNA targets with pathological importance.
The researchers of this project include Jinbo Li#, Lei Huang#, Xiao Xiao, Yingjie Chen, Xingxing Wang, Zhengquan Zhou, Chenyu Zhang*, Yan Zhang* of State Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Life Sciences, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Life Sciences, Jiangsu Engineering Research Center for MicroRNA Biology and Biotechnology, Nanjing Advanced Institute for Life Sciences (NAILS), School of Life Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China.

This work was supported by the grant from National Natural Science Foundation of China (21572102, 21372115, 21672103, and 21302093) and the National Basic Research Program of China (2014CB542300).

Nanjing University School of Life Sciences

Related Mirna Articles:

Semen miRNAs could be non-invasive biomarkers for prostate cancer
Researchers of the Human Molecular Genetics group at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), led by Dr.
HDO-antimiR represents a new weapon in the fight against microRNA-related disease
Malfunctioning microRNA (miRNA) has been implicated in various genetic diseases.
Researchers find fecal marker could help diagnose early signs of chronic gut conditions
Small molecules found in fecal matter could provide clues to the early inflammation found in chronic gut conditions, such as intestinal bowel disease (IBD), and serve as new biomarkers for diagnosis, according to a study led by the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.
Potential novel biomarker for alcohol dependence
Specific molecules (small noncoding microRNAs or miRNAs) found in saliva may be able to predict alcohol dependence as biomarkers.
Interplay between MicroRNAs and targeted genes in cellular homeostasis of adult zebrafish
The objective of study was to understand the damages induced by toxins in the liver and the intestine as well as the interplay between the miRNome and transcriptome baseline characterization in these tissues in healthy animals under cellular homeostasis.
More Mirna News and Mirna Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...